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Legislation: Employers start planning for new rules on shared parental leave

Employers should start preparing for new rules on shared parental leave following publication of draft regulations applying to parents of children whose expected week of birth begins on or after 5 April 2015.

Legal Alert

This update was published in Legal Alert - June 2014

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

Under the old rules, mothers can take up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave. Fathers are only entitled to two weeks’ ‘ordinary’ paternity leave, and an ‘additional’ 26 weeks’ paternity leave - provided the mother has returned to work, and other criteria satisfied.

From October, the new rules will allow a mother to share up to 50 weeks’ shared parental leave with the father, and 37 weeks’ pay. Other proposed changes include:

  • Leave must be taken in minimum blocks of one week. Otherwise it can be taken in continuous or discontinuous blocks, and concurrently with each other or separately.
  • Employees must tell employers eight weeks beforehand that they will share parental leave, and give them eight weeks’ notice in advance of each block.
  • Employees are limited to three notifications to take leave or to change previously agreed patterns of leave (changes requested by the employer, or agreed between employer and employee don’t count).

Further guidance is expected this summer and the new rules are expected to come into effect in October 2014.

Operative date
October 2014

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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